The prevalence of social isolation and loneliness among senior citizens should concern you if you have an elderly loved one. According to the CDC, one-quarter of adults aged 65 or older experience social isolation. Many feel that they can no longer keep up with younger people and that they have lost contact with people from their own cohort. And let's face it — sitting at home all day and watching tv after retirement is positively mind-numbing.
Encourage your senior towards active aging. Life should keep on going. Seniors should endeavor to make new friends, learn new skills, participate in their hobbies, and exercise. Simply pointing our older relatives towards senior centers can dramatically improve the quality of their lives.
Senior Centers at a Glance
There are social clubs where older adults can be around people of a similiar age and circumstance. They promote exercise and physical activity in a safe way. There are plenty of opportunities to learn new skills and hobbies. A lot of them offer daily lunches. Some even offer transportation to and from the home, which is terrific if your relative no longer drives and you don't have the time to take them.
You should prepare for some difficulty in convincing your loved one to check out a senior center. Old people can be stubborn and even indignant about their social isolation. Maybe they're just embarrassed to admit that they're lonely. And loneliness in and of itself can paradoxically breed shyness. After all, a reluctance to change is part of the human condition.
If you need help, listening to a motivational active aging speaker can help. You might even bring along your older loved one. If they're reluctant, tell them you'll buy them lunch or dinner after the presentation.
Active aging can uplift someone in the dumps because of their age. Everyone will laugh and probably cry. More than anything, however, seniors will be inspired and given suggestions on how to live a more meaningful, vigorous, and socially active life.
And you'll learn tips on how to help them succeed: like leading by example and allowing seniors additional time to acclimate to new situations, especially social ones. All of us can benefit from having someone tell us things that we probably, deep down, already know. Sometimes we all need help to see. More importantly, you'll learn proven strategies to help both you and your older loved ones live their best lives.
The golden years should be golden for all of us.
To learn more, contact an active aging speaker.